Any race weekend at Talladega Superspeedway is a memorable one – but for some fans it will be bittersweet as a veteran of the sport will fire his engine up for the final time.
Brendan Gaughan, who has spent over 20 years in NASCAR, will call it a career after this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega. He will pilot the familiar No. 62 Beard Oil / South Point Camaro for Beard Motorsports.
“We’ve got a job to do and that’s to still to go out and try and win the race,” Gaughan said in a release. “That’s what we show up to do every time we roll that No. 62 Beard Oil Distributing/South Point Chevy Camaro off the hauler. That’s the first thing – to try to get the job done. After that, you think about the other things. I did not expect to have these last four years in NASCAR. The Beard family gave me something that was completely unexpected. They gave me this last little bit of fun and it’s been phenomenal. I want to go try and win one. I’ve got one more shot to win a Cup race and I’m gonna do my damndest to do it.”
When asked if he would return for the 2021 Daytona 500, Gaughan politely declined an earlier offer from the team.
“No,” he said. “The Beards have asked me a bunch of times and Mrs. Beard drives a very hard bargain and she is very difficult to say no to, but it’s time. I’m honored that I’ve gotten to drive for the Beards. I think I’ve had four top-10s for that family in the 16 races I’ve driven for them. That’s pretty dang phenomenal for a team with one employee and two racecars.”
Since 2017, Beard Motorsports has only ran the superspeedway races every season with a technical alliance from RCR helping the efforts. Since the alliance, four top-10 finishes at the super speedways including 5 laps lead at the 2019 GEICO 500 at Talladega.
While only running four starts a season since 2017, Gaughan is having the most fun he’s had in a Cup car.
“I love racing, and competing with Beard Motorsports these last few years have made for some of my most enjoyable moments in NASCAR,” Gaughan said. “We do a lot with a little, so when we run up front and lead laps, it’s very satisfying because you know all the work that went into it.I wouldn’t want my last races as a NASCAR driver to be with any other team.”
“Richard Childress and the staff at RCR provide us with top-notch equipment,” said Mark Beard Sr., owner of Beard Motorsports. We’ve worked with them since 2017 and it’s easy to understand why they’ve been in the sport for 50 years. We’re proud to continue our technical partnership with RCR and we look forward to making Brendan’s last races as a NASCAR driver memorable.”
Starting his Cup Series career in 2004, the Las Vegas, Nevada native has made what will be 67 starts in the Cup Series, 219 starts in the Xfinity Series, and 217 starts in the Gander RV and Outdoor’s Truck Series. His best finish in the Cup Series to date was fourth at Talladega in 2004.
The 45-year-old almost pulled an upset victory in 2019 at Talladega while leading the race with a handful of laps to go before finding himself flipping upside down going into Turn 3.
"THE NO. 62 UPSIDE DOWN!"
— #NASCARPlayoffs on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 14, 2019
With over 500 starts across all three national series, Gaughan scored eight wins in Trucks, and two in Xfinity.
Since his NASCAR career began, Gaughan has carried the colors of South Point Hotel & Casino on his entries many times across all three national series. The casino is owned by his father, Michael Gaughan.
Plans for the future of Beard Motorsports have not been shared as of this time.
While his NASCAR days may be behind him soon, his racing career is far from over.
“I’ve always done the same thing as the Kenny Schraders and the Tony Stewarts and the Kenny Wallaces of the world where we want to drive anything at any place,” Gaughan said. ” We just don’t to do that job for a living anymore. As a matter of fact, the week before Talladega, the week of the South Point 400, I was racing the Baja 500. So that’s what I did in prep for Talladega.”
You can watch Gaughan make his final NASCAR start this weekend at Talladega on Sunday, October 4th at 2:00 PM on NBC and the NBC Sports App.